The House of Representatives voted to impeach President Trump for the second time on Wednesday with a final tally of 232 to 197. Ten Republicans joined their Democrat counterparts in voting for impeachment, alleging that Trump incited the group that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
The impeachment is being characterized as the most bipartisan in history, with the most votes from a minority party in U.S. history.
Even Joe Biden has distanced himself from the effort, saying Wednesday that he hoped Congress would remain focused on the “other urgent business of this nation.”
“This nation also remains in the grip of a deadly virus and a reeling economy,” he said. “I hope that the Senate leadership will find a way to deal with their Constitutional responsibilities on impeachment while also working on the other urgent business of this nation.”
“There has never been a greater betrayal by a president of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution,” said House Republican Rep. Liz Cheney (R., Wyo.), who claimed that Trump “assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack.”
She was joined by nine other Republican Representatives, each of whom offered a similar rationale. Republican voters, approximately 75 million of whom voted for President Trump just over two months ago, will have to ultimately judge whether or not these politicians were voting on behalf of their constituents’ interests, or on behalf of those of lobbyists and globalists.
Adam Kinzinger of Illinois
“In assessing the articles of impeachment brought before the House, I must consider: if these actions the Article II branch inciting a deadly insurrection against the Article I branch are not worthy of impeachment, then what is an impeachable offense?” Kinzinger said.
David Valadao of California.
In an interview, Valadao called it the “hardest decision” of his life, but said that the storming of the Capitol was “the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen in my life.”
“Watching those law enforcement officers get dragged out of the Capitol and beaten with American flags how do you take that in and not be frustrated with the situation?” said Valadao. “I just want to make sure someone is held accountable for this.”
In a tweet thread explaining his decision, Valadao called Trump’s “rhetoric” an “un-American, abhorrent, and absolutely an impeachable offense.”
Based on the facts before me, I have to go with my gut and vote my conscience. I voted to impeach President Trump. His inciting rhetoric was un-American, abhorrent, and absolutely an impeachable offense. It’s time to put country over politics.
— Rep. David Valadao (@RepDavidValadao) January 13, 2021
Tom Rice of South Carolina
“Under the strict definition of the law, I don’t know if the President’s speech last Wednesday morning amounted to incitement of a riot, but any reasonable person could see the potential for violence,” Rice said in a statement.
“Once the violence began, when the Capitol was under siege, when the Capitol Police were being beaten and killed, and when the Vice President and the Congress were being locked down, the President was watching and tweeted about the Vice President’s lack of courage.”
Rice also offered Trump’s behavior after Jan. 6, including supposedly not offering condolences, as justification for his decision.
“It has been a week since so many were injured, the United States Capitol was ransacked, and six people were killed, including two police officers. Yet, the President has not addressed the nation to ask for calm. He has not visited the injured and grieving. He has not offered condolences. Yesterday in a press briefing at the border, he said his comments were ‘perfectly appropriate.'”
“I have backed this President through thick and thin for four years. I campaigned for him and voted for him twice. But, this utter failure is inexcusable.” said Rice.
Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio
The President of the United States helped organize and incite a mob that attacked the United States Congress in an attempt to prevent us from completing our solemn duties as prescribed by the Constitution,” said González. “In doing so, five people have died including a Capitol Police Officer many more have been injured, and our democracy has been shaken. The Vice President and both chambers of Congress had their lives put in grave danger as a result of the President’s actions in the events leading up to and on January 6th. During the attack itself, the President abandoned his post while many members asked for help, thus further endangering all present. These are fundamental threats not just to people’s lives but to the very foundation of our Republic.”
“When I consider the full scope of events leading up to January 6th including the President’s lack of response as the United States Capitol was under attack, I am compelled to support impeachment.”
John Katko of New York
Katko claimed that to not punish Trump for the events on June 6 would be a “direct threat to the future of our democracy,” adding that Trump put “countless lives in danger.”
“By deliberately promoting baseless theories suggesting the election was somehow stolen, the president created a combustible environment of misinformation, disenfranchisement and division, ” Katko said.
Peter Meijer of Michigan
Meijer characterized Trump’s taped plea to rioters to stand down as “a video expressing his admiration for those who stormed the Capitol while Congress was still under attack.”
In his statement, Meijer described Trump as “The one man who could have restored order, prevented the deaths of five Americans including a Capitol Police officer, and avoided the desecration of our Capitol shrank from leadership when our country needed it most.”
“This vote is not a victory. It isn’t a victory for my party, and it isn’t the victory the Democrats might think it is. I’m not sure it is a victory for our country. But it is a call to action for us to reflect on these events and seek ways to correct them,” Meijer stated.
“I have wrestled with the division this vote will cause. I wrestled with the precedent it will establish and I have concerns with due process. I have wrestled with whether impeachment, an inherently political process, is a meaningful mechanism of accountability for the seriousness of the President’s actions.”
“But today, my job is to apply my best judgment to the article of impeachment that is on the floor of the US Congress. With the facts at hand, I believe the article of impeachment to be accurate.”
Fred Upton of Michigan
“I would have preferred a bipartisan, formal censure rather than a drawn-out impeachment process,” Upton said. “I fear this will now interfere with important legislative business and a new Biden Administration. But it is time to say: Enough is enough.
Upton contended that impeachment was necessary to “send a clear message that our country cannot and will not tolerate any effort by any President to impede the peaceful transfer of power from one President to the next.”
Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington state
“I am not choosing a side-I am choosing truth. It’s the only way to defeat fear,” said Beutler.
“Hours went by before the president did anything meaningful to stop the attack,” Beutler added. “Instead, he and his lawyer were busy making calls to senators who were still in lockdown, seeking their support to further delay the Electoral College certification.”
Dan Newhouse of Washington state
Newhouse contended that there was “no excuse for President Trump’s actions,” and said his vote would be cast “with a heavy heart and clear resolve.”
“A vote against this impeachment is a vote to validate the unacceptable violence we witnessed in our nation’s capital,” Newhouse said. “It is also a vote to condone President Trump’s inaction. He did not strongly condemn the attack nor did he call in reinforcements when our officers were overwhelmed. Our country needed a leader, and President Trump failed to fulfill his oath of office.
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